NGO’s feel pinch as government withdraws funding
19 May 2010
Community organisations funded by the Social Transformation Programme across the Western Cape have expressed disappointment following the decision by Premier Helen Zille to terminate it.
The programme was launched by then Premier Ebrahim Rasool three years ago to tackle social problems in vulnerable communities.
According to the DA led provincial government they terminated the programme largely due to under performance in the project.
Zille’s spokeswoman Trace Venter says a huge chunk of the money was spent on administrative costs and salaries for staff members rather than projects aimed at beneficiaries of the programme.
She said the Premier was now considering funding organisations on a case to case basis to individual community formations that submitted proposals to her office.
However organisations complained that they were not invited to discussions that were aimed at terminating the programme.
Meanwhile earlier this year, the Senior Citizens Western Cape Committee, an affiliate of Cosatu was at collision with the provincial government due to the Premier’s refusal to honour agreements between Senior Citizens and the provincial government.
The agreements were concluded by the former Premier Lynn Brown; and COSATU in the province demanded that these agreements be honoured despite the change of the Premiers.
The agreements included free train and bus rides, funding to citizens’ annual social events, recreational sport day known as the Golden Games as well as the use of certain public facilities such as the Good Hope Centre for the Senior Citizens functions.
The citizens were particularly displeased with the discontinuation of the free train rides.
According to Brown the provincial Transport and Public Works department entered into an agreement with Metrorail and was responsible to settle bill.
The proposed budget cut which the new government has proposed will lead to the end of the annual Golden Games and free bus and train rides every second Tuesday for all senior citizens.
But Social Development officials argued that all these actions were aimed at bringing a holistic approach in dealing with all social services for the province’s residents.